Complete grades for all 30 teams in the 2019 NBA Draft

(Photo by Nathaniel S. ButlerNBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. ButlerNBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Oklahoma City Thunder

Darius Bazley (No. 23)

Darius Bazley famously chose to forego a potential collegiate career in order to work on his game. In being selected late in the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder, he’ll likely be given plenty of run on a team looking to make its way up the Western Conference standings.

A smooth lanky forward, Bazley can control the ball and get to the rim with ease. He doesn’t shy away from contact, instead adept at finishing through it. His outside shot leaves little to be desired and the lengthy time away from competitive basketball could make his pro learning curve steeper than most.

With Jerami Grant having recently signed a new contract, OKC seems fine with having him as a power forward moving forward, while Paul George is a lock for the next few years. For all their top-level talent, however, the Thunder are in desperate need of shooters at any and all positions.

Bazley certainly has talent, but there’s no telling how long it’ll take at the pro level to come close to his ceiling. He could turn out to be productive down the line, but for a Thunder team in need of ready-made snipers in the present, he may not have been the right choice.

Grade: C